INTRODUCTION

For the past decades, technology has played a huge role in the improvement of efficiency in the average human. The change in technology is what changed “is that even possible” to “how soon do you need it.” Many users fail to realize how the technology is developed as they just expect it to work. Whenever an issue arises, some are quick to think that it is a hardware failure when in reality it may just be a software error. We seem to take technology for granted without taking into account how far we have come with it, leaving many to wonder how the computer market was years ago.”

Microsoft Windows

Windows 10

Apple OS X

macOS Sierra

Linux

Linux

Operating Systems in Today’s Technology

OVERVIEW

Computers have been around for some time before the 1960s. The earlier forms of computers were called mainframes which was all hardware and no software, meaning they had no form of operating systems installed. The first mainframes were produced by General Motor’s in 1956. When the mainframes were in use, the users were responsible for bringing the program and data that was usually stored on a magnet or paper tape. Another key factor was that the computer could only be used for a certain job, meaning it was set to work until the program was completed or crashed. Over time, machines became more powerful resulting in faster processing and less time spent on a program. With the addition and implementation of runtime libraries, the systems would then be able to have more control in the programs. Just like the earlier than computers, operating systems was not what the first calling of name. Monitors were the original naming before operating systems became an official title. Minicomputers microcomputers soon followed in 16-bit and 8-bit forms respectively.

HISTORY OF COMPUTERS

Computers have been around for some time before the 1960s. The earlier forms of computers were called mainframes which was all hardware and no software, meaning they had no form of operating systems installed. The first mainframes were produced by General Motor’s in 1956. When the mainframes were in use, the users were responsible for bringing the program and data that was usually stored on a magnet or paper tape. Another key factor was that the computer could only be used for a certain job, meaning it was set to work until the program was completed or crashed. Over time, machines became more powerful resulting in faster processing and less time spent on a program. With the addition and implementation of runtime libraries, the systems would then be able to have more control in the programs. Just like the earlier than computers, operating systems was not what the first calling of name. Monitors were the original naming before operating systems became an official title. Minicomputers microcomputers soon followed in 16-bit and 8-bit forms respectively.

While personal computers were not introduced to the world until 1981 by IBM, the original GUI was actually developed by Xerox in the early 1970s. As the years went on and hardware began to become less expensive, interchangeable hardware started to become a common thing in the computers. During the rise of computers there were multiple companies starting to manufacture software but the three that made it out of the 1990’s were Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, and an open source titled Linux. Also in the 1990s mobile operating systems were beginning to be developed leading to the creation of the smart phones that we have now. Windows created their mobile software in 2003 while Apple developed theirs in 2007.

OPERATING SYSTEMS

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, developed the first closed source operating system titled Windows. In 1981, Windows 1.0 was being worked on for years and finally released in November 1985. While most can agree that this version of Windows was not complete, it did have the first version of MS-DOS, a shell program, which included a calculator, calendar, clock, control panel, and a few other components. After many years of testing out the technology market, Microsoft finally took off with positive reviews when Windows 95 was released on August 24, 1995. The redesigned operating system still included MS-DOS but had additions such as a start menu, program manager, and windows explorer shell. Windows 95 was so successful that it received support and updates until December 31, 2001 which was well after other Microsoft releases such as Windows 98 and Windows ME (Millennium Edition). While Windows ME may have included more improvements such as Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker, and system restore it dealt with a lot of criticism due to its speed and instability. Windows NT was created more so for workstations and servers as it was the first operating system to allow multiple users to log on. After 3 versions, Windows NT was dropped leading to Windows 2000 being the successor. Windows XP soon came after Windows 2000 in a Home Edition (for regular consumers) and a Professional Edition (targeted towards professionals and later improved to a Media Center Edition). Between 2007 and 2015, Windows released Vista, 7, 8, and 10 as operating systems. Out of those four, Vista did not receive the best ratings compared to the other three.

Apple Macintosh

Founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple established the operating system macOS (previously titled Max OS X). In 1984, Apple released its first Macintosh computer and operating system. It went under the alias of Lisa OS as it allowed Xerox to buy shares in Apple. Unlike Windows, the architecture of Mac allows for a graphic OS interface that does not require a text-only console or command-line mode. Macintosh also took an interesting route allowing multiple companies to run their operating system. Motorola, UMAX, and Power Computing were the most notable third party vendors. MacOS began to take off in 2001 as the OS X series first took place in the regular consumers home. While Mac initially had its server version just like Windows, it later broke off and just became a full feature in any MacOS. Apple was running its operating system in 32-bit until 2011 when they finally had a compatible 64-bit build. The recent addition of Siri to the Mac (previously only available on mobile devices) allowed for changes to optimized storage and improvement in applications. Apple is also now popular for their mobile devices that implement their operating systems in a smaller form called iOS.

UNIX Linux

Different from the previous 2 operating systems, Linux is one of oldest most used operating systems due to its flexibility. UNIX was created in 1969 by AT&T’s laboratories. Its open-source model is what has helped many developers to create their own operating system using Linux as a base. Linux is used not only in personal computers but also mobile or embedded devices just like the other operating systems listed above. One of the major downfalls of the operating system is compatibility with newer software. Most legacy software still list Linux as one of the supported operating systems while a lot of the newer ones fail to include it listing PC or Mac as the only options. Another key difference from the other two is that a lot of GUIs are not manufactured by the parent company like Microsoft and Apple. Linux in this modern era is usually repacked and updated by the community. Ubuntu, Unity, Cinnamon, and GNOME are just a few of the more popular GUIs constructed from a Linux base.

THE ECONOMY OF COMPUTERS

With the rise of virtualization, computer power and performance can only get better from here. Virtual reality would not be possible without the power of operating systems, so many wonder how well the three are doing in the market. Windows and Mac are considered the “big players” in the market. Windows is compatible with almost every application, driver or game. They also have great technical support due to their large volume of users. For the IT developers, Windows benefits them because they have so many functions that general consumers probably will not take advantage of. While all of those seem to be positives, Windows does have its negatives as well. For one thing, they get viruses. Anti-virus software is always available, but with a vast amount of them you never know which one is best suited for you. Another disadvantage is the fact that Windows can and will run slow if not properly maintained. Especially for Windows Vista and 7, it requires a lot of computer resources which cause it to run slower. Window’s computers also range in price and a good quality one tends to be quite expensive.

Apple’s computers have maintained consistency through the years. Mac’s almost never gets any viruses due to Window’s superior market share. They have also remained reliable because the Mac OS only runs on Apple computers which leave the software less prone to crashing due to hardware or software. On top of all of that, Mac OS is known to have a pretty looking interface compared to the windows. While all of that is great, Mac’s do tend to run expensive. Their lowest price as of December 2016 for a brand new MacBook is $899, where windows cheapest option starts at the $300 level. Another negative seen by others is the fact that it is only available on Apple computers. So for the computer builders who would love to have MacOS as their operating system, that is not a possibility. Another issue Mac OS seems to suffer with is compatibility. A lot of newer brands are catching on, but only a few programs will run on Mac and almost no games. Bootcamp can be used on Mac to install Windows and run the other software, but that is Windows not Mac.

Linux has been a great alternative to Windows or Mac because not only is it small and still growing, but it is free. You can instantly download it, install it, modify it, and anything you can think of because it is an open source. It also has a great variety as it is not an operating system, it is just a kernel. To use the kernel, additional software must be included with Linux. Though they are more vulnerable to viruses than Mac’s because it is an open source, they still have very few. One of the disadvantages of Linux is the fact that it can be very complicated. Most of them demand a great deal of computer knowledge before you can get them to work. They also share the same compatibility issues as Mac as they too represent a small amount of the market share and many software distributors see Linux as a legacy operating system. They also don’t have a lot of vendors. While this does not necessarily affect computer builders, it is still a downfall to consumers who love the Linux line and want to purchase a new computer with little installation knowledge.

CONCLUSION

Windows had a large lead in the market over any other operating system when they initially started up, but things seem to be changing leading up to 2017. As of April, Windows 10 occupies 14.36%, Mac OS X 10.11 occupies 3.96%, and Linux or other occupies 8.59% of the total market share. Windows overall has dropped below 90% in market shares for the first time in years. Overall, the PC’s have taken a 11.5% decline while Apple has seen a 5.6% increase over the years.

SEMANTIC MARKUP

A Semantic Markup is considered the elements that help separate and cleanly divide the website without the use of any styles. HTML5 is the latest version of coding that supports Semantic Elements in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. The HTML coding is what helps establish the browsers with other user agents in a network protocol. The most popular semantic elements are titled form and table as they help to clearly define the contents.

SEO

SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is what ensures that the website will be included or found by a search engine. This reduces the need for the user to click through multiple pages as the page with most traffic is usually listed first. “The higher a website naturally ranks in organic results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user.” (Beal)

Section-508 Accessibility

Due to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, all websites must be accessible to people with disabilities. It is not only limited to websites as it includes hardware and software. Government agencies and educational programs are the well-known type of organizations that are Section 508 verified.

Works Cited

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